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When it comes to VoIP phone systems, an on-premises solution is no longer the only option. Businesses can now opt for a Cloud voice service. For businesses struggling with procuring and maintaining their own servers, software and phone systems, it can make more sense to rely on a pay-as-you-go Cloud service. The provider’s data center becomes a “virtual” resource that can be accessed from any location and any device to make and receive calls. All the productivity features of an on-premises solution are available from the Cloud. Choosing the right Cloud VoIP provider, however, requires some due diligence…

Business Information and Experience

  1. What is the Cloud VoIP provider’s business focus?
  2. How much experience do they have with the product they are offering?
  3. How long have they been in the VoIP business?

Client References

  1. Ask how many VoIP installations they have completed?
  2. How many references can they provide on that platform?

Tip: If they can’t give you a long list of references very quickly, in our opinion that’s a red flag. They should be able to name 10 or 20 references off the top of their head. Great service providers have a lot of happy clients.

Product and Service Offerings

  1. Do they offer a myriad of other services and products, hoping to leverage their way into your business, or are they focused on closely related products and services?
  2. Are they trying to convince you that voice is ‘just another application on your data network’, or do they understand that voice requires special treatment?
  3. Do they have local support who will come to your office when needed?
  4. Do they send a bill or invoice every time they make a trip to your office to diagnose a problem?
  5. When was the last time their network experienced an outage?

Satisfaction Guarantee and Cancellation

  1. If you don’t have a good experience, what is no-penalty termination period?
  2. What happens if that period expires and you are still not happy?

Installation Plan and Practices

  1. What type of review do they perform on your network?
  2. What recommendations do they make to ensure a good voice Quality of Service (QoS)?
  3. Is user training included in the price and in your offices?
  4. Can you have additional training at no charge if you need it?

Pricing – What’s included?

  1. Is automated attendant extra? If so, how much per attendant?
  2. Is voicemail extra?
  3. What about voicemail to email?
  4. How many local and long distance minutes do you get per month?

Pricing – What’s not included?

  1. Ask them what else clients typically buy that is not in their quote.
  2. Is there any feature you discussed that is an additional fee?

Don’t get caught off guard… When exploring Cloud VoIP solutions, it pays to ask smart questions. Third Generation can step you through the details and put together a plan that works for your business. Contact us today at 412-489-1100 or email